Community Bankers Trust Corporation Conditionally Approves But Defers Dividend on TARP Preferred Stock

Feb 15, 2012, 18:07 ET from Community Bankers Trust Corporation

GLEN ALLEN, Va., Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Community Bankers Trust Corporation, the holding company for Essex Bank (the "Company") (NYSE Amex: BTC), announced today that its Board of Directors has conditionally approved the February 2012 payment of its regular quarterly cash dividend with respect to its Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A, which the Company issued to the United States Department of the Treasury in connection with the Company's participation in the Treasury's TARP Capital Purchase Program in December 2008.  The Company's payment of the dividend is conditioned upon the approval of the Company's federal and state regulators, as set forth in the formal written agreement that has been in place since April 2011.  The Company has been advised that the required approval is contingent upon the issuance and review of the final regulatory report from a recently concluded full-scope safety and soundness examination.

Because the Company has not yet received formal regulatory approval, the Company has notified the Treasury that it will defer the payment, which is due February 15, 2012, and that it intends to make the payment if and when it receives formal regulatory approval.  The Company has previously deferred six quarterly dividend payments with respect to the Preferred Stock.

Under the terms of the Preferred Stock, the Company is required to pay dividends on a quarterly basis at a rate of 5% per year for the first five years, after which the dividend rate automatically increases to 9% per year.  The principal amount of each dividend payment is $221,000.  The Company may defer dividend payments, but the dividend is a cumulative dividend that accrues for payment in the future. The failure to pay dividends for six dividend periods trigger the right for the holder of the Preferred Stock to appoint two directors to the Company's board.    The Treasury has not requested to exercise this right to date.

In addition, the Company's Board of Directors has conditionally approved, subject to the receipt of formal regulatory approval, the payment of all outstanding interest payments that the Company has deferred under its trust preferred securities since September 30, 2010.  This payment is also subject to approval of the Company's regulators, as set forth in the written agreement.

Rex L. Smith, III, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We had a good examination, and it is unfortunate that the timing of formal regulatory approval and the deadline for this TARP payment did not coordinate favorably.  We believe that it is important to make it clear that we continue to work very closely with our regulators to actively address every supervisory issue regarding our safety and soundness.  While the message of the conditional approval of a dividend payment is not the strong message that we had hoped to send, we believe that our improved financial condition and our ongoing efforts to comply with the terms of the written agreement has put us in the position of focusing more on the key concerns of the Board, management and our stockholders."

Mr. Smith added, "We believe that the upcoming payment of the TARP dividend and the deferred trust preferred interest, following formal regulatory approval, is an important step this year in bringing current our obligations with key stakeholders.  One of our primary goals is to catch up all payments due, and ultimately to pay off our entire TARP obligation, as earnings and our capital needs permit."

About Community Bankers Trust Corporation

The Company is the holding company for Essex Bank, a Virginia state bank with 24 full-service offices, 13 of which are in Virginia, seven of which are in Maryland and four of which are in Georgia.  The Company also operates one loan production office.  Additional information is available on the Company's website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company's operations and goals. Actual results may differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including, without limitation, the effects of and changes in the following: the quality or composition of the Company's loan or investment portfolios, including collateral values and the repayment abilities of borrowers and issuers; assumptions that underlie the Company's allowance for loan losses; general economic and market conditions, either nationally or in the Company's  market areas; the ability of the Company to comply with regulatory actions, and the costs associated with doing so; the interest rate environment; competitive pressures among banks and financial institutions or from companies outside the banking industry; real estate values; the demand for deposit, loan, and investment products and other financial services; the demand, development and acceptance of new products and services; the Company's compliance with, and the timing of future reimbursements from the FDIC to the Company under, shared loss agreements with the FDIC; assumptions and estimates that underlie the accounting for loan pools under the shared loss agreements; consumer profiles and spending and savings habits; the securities and credit markets; costs associated with the integration of banking and other internal operations; management's evaluation of goodwill and other assets on a periodic basis, and any resulting impairment charges, under applicable accounting standards; the soundness of other financial institutions with which the Company does business; inflation; technology; and legislative and regulatory requirements. Many of these factors and additional risks and uncertainties are described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 and other reports filed from time to time by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release speaks only as of its date, and the Company disclaims any duty to update the information in it.

SOURCE Community Bankers Trust Corporation